I’ve always had this uncontrollable need to consume Crème de menthe (a sweet mint flavoured liqueur) after watching the Hercule Poirot series on TV and I am not even that much of a mint person. I think it’s the poison ivy green that fascinated me.
Then I watched an episode of Nigella’s Kitchen “Inspiration Everywhere” where she makes this decadent-looking Grasshopper Pie – something about those luscious ripples of pale green cream against that dark chocolate tart base was so attractive that I wanted to immediately make it. The pie drew me closer to the elusive, green liquid; there is no grasshopper without crème de menthe.
In India, we don’t find exotic liqueurs that easily and even if they are available, it will cost me my arm and leg, actually, a lot more. And this is why I love the Internet; there is absolutely a solution for everything!
Turns out that crème de menthe can be concocted at home, with some vodka, mint leaves and sugar. Yes, that simple. What would’ve ideally cost me at least Rs 3000 was now created in under Rs 1000.
Now I can make all the grasshopper pies and cheesecakes I want to or even kickback on my couch with a delicious cocktail on a Sunday afternoon!
For making Crème de menthe, you will need:
- 600 ml vodka
- ¾ cup fresh mint leaves
- 200 g (1 cup) sugar
- ½ cup water
- A few sprigs of mint leaves
- A few drops of green food colouring
In a large vessel, infuse ¾ cup of mint leaves in vodka. Let it steep overnight. Next day, strain the vodka and discard all the mint leaves. Bring water, sugar and mint leaves to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Put off heat once the sugar has dissolved. Let the sugar mixture cool. Once cool, discard the mint leaves and pour the sugar syrup into the vodka mixture. Add a few drops of green food colouring.
Store in a bottle for up to 2 months.